There are kindness challenges, kindness movements, and kindness pleas all over this time of year. Do you find moments of kindness are abundant or hard to find? Kindness is a choice. Daily. I admit some days I feel like I fail miserably. What about when we are in the midst of crazy, stressful, over scheduled holiday season? When we are taking our lives in our hands in every retail parking lot. Yesterday I was in a parking lot driving around looking for a spot. I stopped to let the pedestrian cross in front of me to get to their car. The vehicle behind me proceeded to honk and flash their lights. Why should I be kind? The holiday season presents more challenges to retailate against the anger. It is a season that presents us unlimited opportunities to practice kindness. Have you ever felt exhausted by the feeling you are the only one choosing kindness? Last week we talked about small moments that can overwhelm the hard stuff. Kindness is no different. Often there are days during this season that I am hard pressed to find a smile, a kind word, and especially a driver that is not operating in road […]Read More
Grace in the Midst. What does that look like in the Christmas season? The end of September we finally moved into a house. A year and a half after planned. We have had to practice grace in the midst of our crazy life. Living in a small apartment, we had planned to only be in for 2 months, sending all our belongings to storage, and constantly looking for where we were supposed to land…they all had us stretched to our max. We celebrated two Christmases in our tiny apartment. They were nothing like our “usual” traditions. We had to adapt. For me, mostly it was missing decorating. Those were all in storage. The first Christmas we left and flew to DC to see my husband’s family. I love his family like my own. I really am extra blessed in the in-law, sister and brother in law situation. They are all amazing. Traveling and being in someone else’s home for Christmas means adapting and celebrating with their traditions. Their ways. However, fun, however festive – it is still not my own – of my own control. Our time together resulted in one of the most memorable Christmas and New Year’s. […]Read More
Whatever your big resolution is each year…..does it seem harder and more discouraging? Do you ever feel like the time from Halloween to New Years goes by faster than we can plan? The rush of the holidays, activities, parties, trips, and we just move into January. In the rush, have you ever felt like giving up on your goals? Sometimes it feels easier to just put it off. I will eat better in January. I will exercise again after New Years. How Will We Jump Start A Resolution? Grab a friend or two. We will encourage, equip, and hold each other to the fire. I have mine. For me it is exercise. There is never enough time in the day. I sit at the computer, I sit behind the wheel of a car driving everyone else to their destinations. Everyone else will meet their goals. What about mine? Here are 3 ways we are going to jump start that resolution. Taking care of yourself is not the secondary goal. It will help combat holiday depression, overspending, anxiety…..just focus on ONE thing? What will it be? Finances? Exercise? Eating better? Self care? For the next few months we will be following […]Read More
With a teenager and preteen, we try to have an open door policy. The more kids the merrier. Bring your friends, and their friends – all are welcome. Except one. This one was born from You Never and All the Others. They had a child. Its name is Everyone Else. Everyone Else gets to stay out late. Everyone Else has a never ending flow of money Everyone Else has the clothes that cost more than my weekly paycheck Everyone Else is not welcome in my home. We talk about comparison, competition, and condemnation. As women, it can be a difficult road. But it is not just women. As parents we want more for our kids. At what cost? Everyone Else is expensive – more costly than just money. I expect my kids to ask. It’s ok. I did. We all can get sucked in my the shiny things in the ads, the mall, the hallways of peers that seem to surround Everyone Else. When we have the shiny things – do we feel more complete? More loved? More like we fit in. A long time ago, I decided not to invite Everyone Else into our home. It is […]Read More
Parenting is a life-long journey. I still call my parents for advice. In hard times, I still want my mom. It does not go away – no matter what your relationship with your kids today. As a parent, I dislike writing about parenting. It not a one-size-fits-all subject. I do not have all of the answers – or even most of them. There are days when I feel like I have it all together. Then there are the ones….well you know. The ones you never expected to be this hard. Before we had kids, we had expectations. Expectations of birth, baby life, toddler-life, teen-life, and well so many expectations of control. Then the baby comes. Open the window- toss out the expectations. You have lost all control. Call me when they turn 18. Here are a few expectations I have come to hang onto over the years: Making their own lunch gets them into college This started in First Grade. It was the last straw. Full lunchbox. Nothing is good to eat. I opened the lunch box and told him to take whatever he wanted to school. His eyes were so big. I surrendered that day. (Only to retreat and […]Read More
If you have been married for more than a day, you have experienced some relationship bumps. Unmet, unclear, unfair expectations perhaps? We expect things from our significant other. Even if we think we do not…there is a moment. Among many I speak to, it seems there are many expectations around loading the dishwasher, putting the toilet paper on the holder, and even what side of the bed you will sleep. I stopped ironing my husbands dress shirts early on because I apparently iron on the wrong side of the ironing board. Bless. There are people that can dry clean them. Boom problem solved. Expectations come from the lessons our past has taught us. The proper way…that only YOU know… like how to load the dishwasher. Any other way will not result in clean dishes. It is a convincing argument. But what happens when loading the dishwasher becomes a measure of how much your spouse loves you. How can expectations impact our marriage (or any relationship!)? E – Excuses. Do you use expectations of what should be, could be, or would be to justify your own actions? X – X-ray vision – We often judge our spouse by their actions […]Read More
This past week my son and I helped a friend move her daughter into her dorm at college. There I was stuck in the middle of living in the present, releasing the past, and planning for the future. My son has a few more years of high school but it really has made the clock seem to move forward at warp speed. I remember feeling a similar feeling when he first started Kindergarten. It’s too much, too fast. I will not let go. But time does move forward. Even if it feels like a jump to warp speed from a sci-fi movie, it is just life. Just life. Does not really help how we feel stuck in the middle of the circumstance does it? I am proud of my kids. They do well. They make mistakes, they misbehave, and generally are becoming productive members of society. So why do I want it all to slow down? I do not really want it to slow down. There was a moment that I could see spending the last few years of his high school career sad at everything. Oh do not mistake..there will be tears. There will be the “happy-sad” tears […]Read More
For the past year I have been in a season of transition. Without a permanent residence and my families belongings in storage it would be an easy season to be “stuck”. Have you ever found yourself in a season that you feel stuck? Not necessarily full depression, just a place you exist but not work to thrive. How can we look at events and moments in our life that could lead to a feeling of being “stuck”? I have found there are have been several opportunities in which I could have translated into reasons (excuses) to be stuck. It was often a fine line. A series of small daily choices I had to make to keep moving forward. Sometimes successfully – others not so much. Here are the top ten areas I find to give me the most temptation to derail my zest for life. Kids schedules Moving Family illness Job situation Health challenge Busyness of life Relationships Eating habits Sleep habits Change of seasons What is one thing you need to work to “unstick” this month? Let’s hear from you. Share with us on Facebook or in the comments. I would love to hear how we can keep moving, keep […]Read More
Rejection is hard. No one relishes the term “trial by fire”. Especially when you see your child burn up in the flame of rejection. Rejection is part of life. How can we fan the flame of our child’s gifting and passion without burning up in the sadness of the rejection? At five years old, my daughter jumped up on the stage with no fear belted out in song. On key, in sync with a music track, and in front of strangers at a mall. No training. At that moment I knew I was in for a journey like no other. Have you ever found yourself on a journey with your children not of your own design? Sometimes I wish I could orchestrate a safe, perfect activity with no disappointment or heartache. But then in reality I would only be doing that for my own ease. My daughter’s journey in theater and acting began on that stage when she was only five. I hesitate to share about it only because it is a harsh world for a child. They are exposed. Out in the open, giving their all with each and every audition. And the no’s are much more prevalent than […]Read More
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Embrace the Crazy is about networking women together with those that are living life to the fullest with ALL their crazy. It's not a pit stop, a when I arrive or a when I get thru this...but a path to always taking the next step to living life as it is intended... in relationship with others to complement, equip, and encourage and not to compete.